Another Burger run and another Saturday I find myself waking up stupidly early to go running. I decided to to run to the meeting point, an Estimated 7-8 miles. Why?? No reason, I just felt like I wanted to and should. I was slow to leave the house and it was looking like I would arrive about 08:55 and would need to “freshen up” (switch T-shirts) before the 9am start, so it was going to be a fairly fast run to begin with. Which was fine as I was pacing the gentle 9:30 – 10:00 min mile pace group today.
On arriving and walking in I was immediately presented with the familiar smiling faces and we were all ready to go. Outside JayZ leads us in a quick warm up to the A-team theme. The route is explained and, after bumbling around with the Suunto and setting up the navigation (I really dislike this watch I’ve decided!), off we go.
Within minutes I’ve lead us the wrong way already as we navigate the different parts of Hyde Park. As long as we are heading in the general direction I do not care though. The first part of the run I admit I felt was pretty dull as we head through the urban jungles of Kensington and Fulham (with some more wrong turns taken at Parsons Green). We eventually hit Putney Bridge though and from here we will follow the river to Millennium Bridge which, for the most part, will be much more pleasurable to run.
First though, an unplanned (but welcomed) stop, as one of the girls encounters a nose
bleed. Whilst she nips into the cinema to clean up, we stand around refuelling at the local market. It’s good. Well, it looks and smells good. I had baby food to eat, no fresh sausage rolls this time. Oddly, at this point there was a “phone” on a moving trolley of some sort that a guy kept calling. Some weird street entertainment thing. It made for an alright photo I guess.
We carried on and headed along the river towards Battersea Park where we had another quick stop. Looking at the watch our 14.5 miles was likely to be more like 15.5. Still, there were smiles a plenty. Navigating around Battersea power station at this time is pretty grim as a lot of the Thames Path is blocked off for construction. Something that made me a little frustrated as we neared Vauxhall and I tried to lead the group off the main road and back onto the river path, only to be blocked by a glass door/gate as part of the private developments recently opened. So frustrating!
We carried on and headed towards the mayhem that is Southbank at midday on a
weekend. A busy place at the best of times, but at this time the volumes of tourists mean the run becomes a walk as you force your way past the London Eye. This wasn’t so fun, but I knew it would be the case. Avoid the area if you can! We were close to the finish now and over the bridge and along Cheapside we went. Finishing up after 15.5 miles in Bank where the majority of the group carried on with laps of the restaurant to round their miles up to meet the ‘long run distances’ specified on their training plans. Runners are an odd bunch aren’t they! I was glad I’d done my extra miles (for the sake of it) beforehand. Not quite sure when a planned 13 miler becomes a 24 miler for the sake of it though.
With plans for the afternoon and evening I didn’t stick around for the baptastical burgasms promised. I was off the have a wash…